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This blog was authored by Lisa S. Charbonneau. Should your agency permit employees to use their available paid leave accruals prior to designating leave as Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)-qualifying, even if your agency knows the leave is FMLA qualifying from the start?  A new Department of Labor (DOL) Opinion Letter issued by the Acting DOL Wage & Hour Administrator explains that employers that delay designation of FMLA-qualifying leave more than five days violate…
This Special Bulletin was authored by Tony G. Carvalho. On March 7, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, if implemented, will affect the minimum wage and overtime-exempt status of many employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed changes concern the “salary basis test” applicable to the “white collar” exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees. The changes will also alter the test for “highly…
This Special Bulletin was authored by Frances Rogers & Amit Katzir. The California Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in Cal Fire Local 2881 v. CalPERS, a case addressing whether the Legislature’s elimination of “air time” as an optional benefit for members of CalPERS unconstitutionally impaired a vested contractual right.  Holding that the air time benefit was not entitled to constitutional protection, the Court took a pass on reviewing a much bigger question:  Whether…
This post was authored by Geoffrey S. Sheldon & Lars T. Reed. Immediately after California Senate Bill 1421 went into effect on January 1, 2019, public agencies across California began receiving requests for public records relating to certain high-profile categories of peace officer misconduct. As we described in a previous Special Bulletin, SB 1421 does not explicitly state whether it applies to records created before the new law’s effective date. Several police labor…
This Special Bulletin was authored by Gage C. Dungy. NOTE:  This update incorporates further amendments to SB 778 and serves to remind clients that these are only proposed fixes to the existing SB 1343 harassment prevention training requirements that are not yet law.  SB 778 is subject to change again before becoming law.  If SB 778 becomes law, we will notify you immediately. In the meantime, employers must comply with the training requirements and…
This post was authored by Lisa S. Charbonneau. On February 25, 2019, the California Second Appellate District Court of Appeal issued a decision in the case Marquez, et al. v. City of Long Beach, holding that the state minimum wage applies to charter cities because minimum wages are a matter of statewide concern.  The holding should be construed to apply to all counties (charter and general law) as well. What does this mean…
This post was authored by Paul Knothe. On February 20, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Timbs v. Indiana, holding for the first time that the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition of excessive fines applies to civil forfeiture by state law enforcement agencies.  It did not, however, decide how large a forfeiture constitutes an unconstitutionally “excessive” fine. The term “civil asset forfeiture” refers to the practice of law enforcement agencies seizing property,…
This post was authored by Carla McCormack. In December 2018, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) removed Final Rules that permitted employers to offer incentives to encourage the disclosure of health information in connection with an employer wellness program.  This change is effective January 1, 2019. An employer wellness program, generally offered through an employer-provided health plan, is intended to help employees improve their health and also to reduce healthcare costs for the employer. …
This post was authored by Melanie L. Chaney. As a proud American citizen, I want to instill a healthy respect for American government and democracy in my child.  I have a son who has an interest in American government that belies his seven years on this earth. You may have read in the Washington Post about the 17 African-American women who were all elected to the judiciary in Harris County, Texas this last November…